I have a house full of peonies. They have popped so much earlier this year than normal that the peony growers have been scrambling to get them out of the field before they break their buds.
There are plenty of things that are coming out early this year. When you come down to the Homer Farmers Market, you will see an amazing array of vegetables that often don’t show up until mid August.
We are already seeing cauliflower and celery, artichokes and fennel, haskap berries and cherries, and zucchini around every corner (and the Zucchini Festival isn’t for three more weeks.) After talking to Dave and Angie Skalisky of Kachemak Bay Gardens, I can tell you that you can even expect to see corn available at the market in the next few weeks.
If you need any help figuring out what to do with all of these vegetables, this weekend you will see a chef demo by Ruth Lavrakas about how to make ratatouille. If you are wondering about that zucchini, try a basil zucchini soup. (I had some this weekend and it was wonderful.)
And if you would like to share the bounty, don’t forget to leave some extra with the folks at the Homer Community Food Pantry. They will have representatives there this weekend to answer any of your questions and take your donations. Fresh food is appreciated by all.
Unless you are working on the state budget. We are watching at the state level as inspections for dairy, seed potatoes, and other products are ending, effectively stalling the ability to get these products into stores. Add to that the cutting of support systems for farmers like the Division of Agriculture, the Plant Materials Center and the University (therefore experiment farms and Cooperative Extension) and we can see that there is some serious pruning going on while we are in the peak growing season.
But abundance is what you will still find this weekend at the Market down on Ocean Drive from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and 2 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday. So head on down and see what there is to buy, to cook, and to share.
Kyra Wagner is the coordinator of Sustainable Homer and the Homer Farmers Market’s biggest fan.